March 22, 2006
In Park City, in addition to several already established yoga facilities, three new yoga studios have opened their doors in the past three years.
What is this huge market for teaching people how to breathe upside down? Where is all this demand coming from?
If you ask people who are really into yoga, and who have studied the yoga way of life for many years, they may give you a deep and confusing answer, including references to pure sesame seed oil. But it doesn’t have to be quite so mysterious.
Sai Richard Scott, local yoga and pilates teacher, with 20 years of practice behind him, was introduced to yoga through gymnastics. There were "a lot of pretty women in class," he says, "so I kept going back."
As Sai continued to practice yoga, however, he began to understand the much deeper concepts of yoga.
"It started with the sun, moon, earth, wind, water, fire " he explains.
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Originally, yoga was simply a way to honor nature. Then people began to identify their honored elements of nature with gods which they worshiped. And that was the beginning of Hinduism.
Even though these days, yoga is often practiced without any mention of Hindu gods, "it can get pretty preachy," Sai admits. "It can become like a religion – it’s not."
Yoga is about letting "your spirit move you you don’t push it you’re just there," according to Sai.
The focus, openness, movement, and breathing of yoga are intended to bring you to "who you are in your purest form to be saint-like."
"It changes the way you deal with the world," Sai observes. But you don’t necessarily have to take yoga that deep to enjoy it. "I can’t see why it wouldn’t benefit anybody," Sai says.
The many benefits of yoga include increased flexibility, balance, and strength, and the ability to tone the body while focusing on maintaining a calm mind.
This sense of calm "overlaps into your life," Sai feels, and people love it and want to pass it on.
People like yoga because in the midst of our busy, stressful lives, it is a simple activity that can help one to reconnect with the spiritual core.
People who love yoga, love it because it makes them feel relaxed, and this is something that they want to pass on to others.
The recognition of yoga has grown widely and rapidly. "I thought it was gonna be a fad," Sai remembers, but "it just kept going."
"It’s kind of gone over the top," Sai thinks, "people have more time and money on their hands than they know what to do with."
Now, there are magazines, cruises, retreats, books, collections of beginners’ equipment, conferences, clothing lines, classes at hotels in addition to studios, all dedicated to yoga.
The popularity of yoga can become a little ridiculous, and there are even those who call it their way of life. People who do not fall into that extreme category, however, can still enjoy a few classes every now and then to stretch out, take some deep breaths and let go of a little stress.
"Tell all your friends to come," Sai requests. So why not try it? What do you think? Students, The Park Record has its own blog for students to shout out how they feel about "Student to Student" or any other topic. Join the cyber-realm today at prstudentblog.blogspot.com.